Clever Marketing, I Think…

There’s some very clever marketing I’ve just come across. Or at least I think it’s clever on the face of it, I haven’t quite thought it all through yet for the pros and cons. It’s hot off the press of my mind and onto here.

When (if) I find out more about how this works I’ll let you know.

At any rate it’s certainly something I’ve filed away in the back of my head for future reference.

So what is it?

A couple of days ago I was sent an email about some FaceBook software. I don’t use Facebook in my personal life but of course it’s very important for a lot of people including my own family members.

(My dad has a FaceBook account that he uses to “stalk” the rest of the family, leaving funny and vague comments on various posts the family make and any photos they upload. My eldest son is often killing himself laughing at things his grandad has written…)

That aside, when I hear about some new software, I always go check it out because you never know what use it might be.

It turns out this software lets you post optin boxes together with teaser videos on FaceBook.

Don’t confuse this product with a $67 launch that’s going on at the moment that I guess you’ve probably had emails about. (Not from me.)

This product isn’t that, it’s something very similar, but doesn’t have ONE of the features of the larger product.

In any case… I took a look at the sales page, watched the explanatory video (it could be a service, I haven’t bought yet, but it looks like it) and scrolled to the bottom to see the price – it was a one-off $20.02 on a rising price sale, which I thought was reasonable.

So far so good?

I then forgot about it but left the page open in a tab. I’ve been hibernating my laptop the last couple of days so I knew it was there for when I got back to it.

My inbox has had quite a few emails for this (slightly?) bigger $67 product, so I took a look and thought it was just like the one I’d left open in a tab. It’s not the same thing, and it’s definitely a different product as it also has a countdown timer you can add, which the first product didn’t have.

So I decided to go check out the details of both on JV Zoo, and did a search for the first product. I then got stopped in my tracks because I found 38 products that matched the description.

I opened the first one and clicked the sales page.

It was the same product, same sales page, different price – $11.

I clicked on some of the others – all the same domain, same sales page, different prices, with the lowest I could see at $7, all with different sellers offering different commission rates for affiliates in JV Zoo.

Hmm. Brain engaged and I did a bit of thinking.

The clever marketing bit was that the creator of the product didn’t appear to be selling it himself. I could be wrong.

Each page had its own reference in the URL (?r=9999) which I originally thought was the affiliate ID. I now realise it was a way of identifying each vendor and so placing the correct payment button on the sales page.

My guess is – because I haven’t bought yet – is that the original creator is selling a service, and so will gather the name and email of each person who signs up for it regardless of where they’ve come from.

It’s as if he’s selling it with 100% commissions, but isn’t inserting himself in the sales process at all.

In other words, he’s building a list of buyers without any of the hassle or risk associated with being a product vendor.

I’ve not seen anyone else do this, and it could well be the start of something big – a new trend in selling and list building. I’ll be keeping an eye on this.

I just thought you’d like to know, and to say that you heard about it from me first.  😉

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business, list building, Product Ideas, traffic

Viral Graphics Generator Plugin

Update: The sale for the Viral Graphics Generator plugin is live at just $17.00.

Buy now


Now before you get too turned off with a mention of the word “viral” in the plugin name, just bear with me.  😉

A few weeks ago I came across something that I think is a brilliant idea. People are using this method to drive traffic to their web sites, and it’s really simple to do.

Anyone can do this, even me.

#1 – Create a simple graphic with some text on it that’s useful, controversial or humorous. Preferably all three for the best results.
#2 – Brand the graphic with the domain you want people to visit, or the product you’re promoting, for example an ebook. Again, it’s just text.
#3 – Seed the graphic by uploading it to your Pinterest account with a link back to your site or web page.
#4 – Sit back while people find it, laugh or go “ooh!” and repin it for you.
#5 – Repeat every day or so.

Get it?

There’s a TON of material on the internet where you can get your ideas.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you have a client who owns a furniture store and web site. Almost certainly there will be plenty of images you can use and then add some text to.

A quick search turned up the following puns.

“Couldn’t Chair Less”
“Carpet-al Punishment”
“Table The Motion”
“Cushion The Blow”
“Sofa So Good”
“Chair-ish The Opportunity”
“It’s A Deep-Seated Problem”

You get the idea I’m sure.  😉

With the Viral Graphics Generator plugin, you can add or edit an existing image, add some of the text above right in WordPress and then pin it on Pinterest. It’s drop-dead easy to do.

You can do this with virtually any topic and it doesn’t have to be a short snippet of text either, you can insert extended notes across multiple lines.

Just to hammer home the point, I saw this done with an ebook and the author had come up with a set of useful rules to complement his book. This image had been repinned almost a million times and I’m sure this generated a LOT of traffic to his ebook.

As I’m going to be releasing some niche ebooks between now and the new year (and some fiction too), doing something like this will help to market them a lot, but as I said you can do this with almost any niche.

The three golden guidelines to make this work are Useful, Controversial, or Humorous, and preferably all three. People WILL repin them and it’s then just a matter of time before they start appearing on FaceBook too.

Like this idea of “hands-off” marketing? I do!  🙂

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business, traffic, wordpress plugins

Magic Locker Plugin

Update: The sale for the very cool Magic Locker plugin is now live at just $12.50 for the first 25 copies.

Buy now


Today, Thursday 14th November at 6.00pm GMT (1.00pm EDT) I’m releasing a plugin called Magic Locker.

The idea with this plugin is you let readers view MOST of your content on a page or post but withhold some of it until they share or like the page on a social network.

This will generate MORE traffic, MORE subscribers and MORE customers.

That’s the basis of it, but let’s look at this in more detail.

Some people won’t like what you’ve done and won’t share your page if they don’t know part of what it is that they’re sharing.

So why not give them some alternatives?

There are some built into Magic Locker that should satisfy everybody.

You can optionally make them wait a number of seconds you define and the content will reveal itself.

Or you can tell them that if they become a WP subscriber then all content on your site will be unlocked. If you have a membership plugin then you could get them to join the membership and with most membership plugins it also makes them WP subscribers too.

And here’s something I’m going to be doing myself. Wait for it…

If you have something to sell, then give people a choice to get it for less IF they’ll share the page.

So put your product up with a buy button for say $27, and tell your visitors they can get $10 off just for sharing the page. Then either put a second buy button or a discount code if your script supports it.

Cool idea eh? Watch me start using it on all my sites.

Giving people a simple either/or choice always works.

Those that don’t want to share it will pay the higher price – them’s your rules – and those that don’t mind will go ahead and share it and get the very nice discount thank you very much!

It’s a win-win either way, and we all like that don’t we?  😉

You can also lock all sorts of content, not just text. Images and videos can be locked too, as well as payment buttons and coupons. I have another idea that I need to test out first, and I’ll share it with you when I’m ready.


The sale starts today 14th November at 6.00pm GMT, and you can do one of two things.

#1 – Be one of the first 25 people to get the plugin at the starting price of $12.50.

#2 – Join the Plugin Great Membership and get AT LEAST two new plugins, themes or scripts every month for one fixed price that won’t hurt your pocket. Many happy customers have already taken and are enjoying this option.

In reality, as I release so many products and also run weekend sales the chances are high that you’ll get 3 new products per month in the membership. As I write this I have five other plugins almost ready for release with several more in various stages of development all of which I’d like to release before the end of the year.

Becoming a member is the perfect way to never miss out on a product release of mine again.

And it’s cheaper too.  😉

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business, social marketing, software, traffic, wordpress plugins

Early Warning System

Here’s a short video (<11 minutes) that explains the benefits of being in the first 2-3 comments on a new blog post. Then it shows you how to use a free tool to make sure you ARE the first person to leave a comment.

Worth a few minutes of your time? Once the video starts you can change the resolution to 720p and make it full screen to pick up the detail.


Blog Commenting and Feed Notifier

Here’s a bulleted summary:-

  • Blog commenting is good for getting backlinks – this is not a secret and has been in use for a long time
  • Making relevant comments that add to the orginal article will mean your comments get approved
  • Being first with a good comment will mean people may well click through to your site to read anything else you have to say
  • You can use a free tool called Feed Notifier that sits quietly in your Windows system tray and monitors a blog’s RSS feed
  • When a new post is made, then you can be there within a few minutes and leave the first comment

What isn’t discussed in this video is that RSS has been around for a long time but other than with techies, it’s never really captured the imagination of a wider audience. And that could be because it’s not click-click obvious and not really vital to a general internet user.

However after watching this video, then maybe (like I do) you’ll consider using this small and discrete free tool called Feed Notifier. It seems there are lots of tools and services that supply RSS reading capabilities, but Feed Notifier is quite sexy as it’s so small.

I realised the potential of Feed Notifier a while back and I saw that it’s not only useful for being the first to leave blog comments, but for all sorts of other things too.

For example last year I released a plugin called WordPress Updates which creates a private RSS feed on your blogs that you can subscribe to. When a new plugin or theme update is released, then the feed will be updated and you can pick up the notification using Feed Notifier.

So if you have lots of clients using WordPress blogs that you’re responsible for, then you can install the plugin on all their sites and get an immediate warning from each of them when they need you to go do some work. There’s nothing worse than an angry client complaining their site has been hacked or something has stopped working and you later find out it’s because you didn’t apply the latest updates. 🙄

I also have someone working on creating another new plugin called Events Notifier that will be released shortly. This allows you to create private and public RSS feeds and then add events and a date and time to go with them.

Apart from the obvious private reminders of birthdays, anniversaries etc, you can also use it to set up a public feed and broadcast important events to your subscribers, for example a build up to a new product launch. 😉

Or keep your affiliates notified of changes and new products in your affilaites scheme, or keep your customers updated about updates to products they’ve bought.

More on that little beauty soon.

So I hope you can see that RSS feeds aren’t just for the techies and with a little thought we can all start to benefit from them in all sorts of ways they probably were never intended for. 🙂

Here are some links to tools mentioned in the video, one for Portable Apps and Feed Notifier Portable, and also to the Feed Notifier site itself.

My own personal preference is to go with Portable Apps as it’s just so damn useful, and I’ll do a post about Portable Apps another time explaining how useful it can be even if you don’t use it portably.

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business, software, traffic

Personal One On One Coaching Part 2

I had lots of replies and kind words to my last blog post about my depression a few years ago.

In that post I said I’d tell you why I made it.  It’s important.

With me, it was my trial through depression and the recovery time that followed that bought me to the place where I realised it was time to strike out on my own.  In my case I thankfully had no choice in having to do my own thing as following my depression I effectively became unemployable.

I can take advice, and I can learn stuff just like I’ve always done, and even ask for help.  But what I can’t do is have anyone tell me what to do.  I can’t help that side of it any more, the barriers just go straight up and whoever’s doing the telling is wasting their breath.  It’s quite different if I want the advice or knowledge.

When I finally moved into the digital products market place (in my case software) I believed for a short while all the nonsense I was told about how easy it was running an online business and how you didn’t have to do any work, ha-ha.  I say “nonsense” because it really is.

Running your own business takes work and determination no matter what the business type.

There is no “short cut”, no “magic bullet”, no “loophole”, no “weird solution” or “ancient remedy” that many of the methods sellers would have you believe.  You just need to choose something you’re happy with and work at it until you get better at doing whatever you do.

Obvious really isn’t it?

If you’ve been going through this yourself, or trying to get started at it, then you’ll have found that to begin with many of your days bring new problems to go with the pile of existing ones and the need to discover ways of solving them.  And you find yourself “working” long, unproductive, pointless days when what you really need to be doing is focussing on the money that will drive your business forward.

More than 60% of people give up at some time in the first 6 months for whatever reason, and I suspect the biggest reasons to be a lack of focus and just plain not knowing what to do.  This results in trying out lots of different things – “thrashing about” – until finally throwing the towel in.

I’ll repeat it again in case you weren’t paying attention further up the page, you need to choose something you’re happy with and work at it.  🙄

Usually and in my experience, whatever that something is, then you’ll find there’s always going to be a core set of requirements.

From my own perspective, I chose to sell software.  Some days I wish I’d just gone into ebooks as I’d have total control of my own product creation process, but I don’t see that as being as much fun as working in software.  I’ve always liked computers, but that’s just me.  Something else might light you up in your case, or you may be similar to me.

Whatever it is, you need to do something you enjoy, or at the very least feel confident and determined about.

And I can help if you let me.

In a few days time I’ll be opening what might be my last ever personal coaching programme which will run through January and February 2012.

I say might be last ever because I have a project starting in March that will consume a chunk of my time and may eventually take me in a different direction (still with software).  We’ll see, it’s very early days yet.

The last coaching I did was four years ago so you can see it’s not the kind of thing I do on a regular basis and that’s why I think it’s a bit special.

I won’t be pushing you through a one-size-fits-all sausage machine.  I know that more than a few of the coaching programmes I’ve seen tend to operate on a “come one, come all” basis, but that’s not how I do it.

This will be personal coaching, tailored for you.  The way I think coaching should be done.

There are some provisos that come with it though, and these are only there to make sure you’re not signing up for something that isn’t appropriate for you.

#1 – The coaching will be in the IM (Internet Marketing) niche.

#2 – The coaching won’t attempt to cover things I don’t do myself such as CPA and PPC, or network marketing.  I have very little knowledge of those and I’m not really inclined to find out, it’s just not my bag.

#3 – The coaching will cover things like product creation, traffic, list building and automation by outsourcing.  The stuff I personally see as vitally impotant to most online businesses.  I’ll give you more information on what I will cover with this personal coaching in my next post.

#4 – You’re prepared to work hard at it and work under your own initiative with my guidance.  Yes as your coach I’ll do some hand holding and pointing you in the right direction, but the sooner you take responsibility for your performance the better.  I can help you achieve that very useful attribute.

#5 – You commit to the ethic of product creation.  To be in the “game”, you need your own products to either give away (to list build) or preferably sell, and I can’t see any reason why you shouldn’t be able to create or have one created for you after 30 days or less.  Once you know what you’re doing and you’re really cooking with some useful outsourcers, a week or less for product creation is completely do-able.

On that last one, having your own product(s) is vitally important as from that point on you can start list building.  The size of your list bears a direct correlation to the size of your business.  Simple isn’t it?

That okay for starters?

More information on personal coaching in my next post.

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business, list building, Product Ideas, traffic